Max Muncy Shut Down From Swinging Due To Oblique Soreness

Max Muncy seemed to be making progress toward his return to the Los Angeles Dodgers lineup, but those hopes have been pushed to the side a bit.

Muncy has been on the injured list since May 17 with a right oblique strain and he was also transferred to the 60-day IL, pushing his earliest possible activation date back to July 16.

The veteran third baseman has had a slow recovery thus far, but made some important progress in late June when he began swinging a bat. However, Dodgers manager Dave Roberts said Muncy was once again forced to stop taking swings.

“He’s had additional scans, and nothing has kind of come up. I wouldn’t say setback,” Roberts said. “I would just say more of there’s no progression. It just continues to remain stagnant as far as kind of this discomfort, soreness.

“So we just haven’t been allowed to or continue to progress, because he just has that same sensation. So it’s time away, time off. Everything he does turning and rotating is good, except swinging a bat. And so that’s kind of the weird thing.”

Roberts was previously hopeful Muncy would be able to continue his rehab, and their first hope was the 33-year-old would only miss the minimum about of time on the IL.

Neither of those came to fruition, and now it’s just a waiting game for Muncy’s oblique to fully heal.

The Dodgers can afford to be patient with Muncy thanks to their significant lead in the National League West, but they have not received much production from third basemen.

Kiké Hernández, Cavan Biggio and Chris Taylor have filled in, but the production is a far drop from the .223/.323/.475 line with a 121 wRC+ Muncy posted before the injury.

Miguel Vargas a possible Max Muncy replacement

With Muncy’s slow progression, the Dodgers have considered Miguel Vargas as a potential option to play the hot corner.

The Dodgers were against it previously but the combination of the slow recovery and black hole of offense at third base have made them reconsider.

On Friday, Vargas was taking ground balls and receiving coaching from Dino Ebel and Roberts.

“I think this Muncy thing has been a lot slower than we had all hoped,” Roberts said. “So Vargy hasn’t played third base in quite some time, but given where Max is at, it just made more sense to kind of push him along and see how it looks to give us another option.”

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